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5 Best Scuba Diving Spots in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is an outstanding scuba diving destination, whether you’re a seasoned scuba diver or just excited to learn in the best scuba diving spots in the Dominican Republic!

From stunning coral reefs to mysterious shipwrecks, there’s simply so much you can explore while scuba diving in the Dominican Republic. So, you may be wondering: “what is the best place to scuba dive in the Dominican Republic?” 

The truth is, each scuba diving spot in the Dominican Republic is unique and comes with its own unforgettable adventure! 

Do you like exploring rich wildlife and discovering different types of fish and corals? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to swim with the whales? Whatever your scuba diving dream is, the Dominican Republic truly has it all!

Can’t wait to go on an incredible diving excursion?

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Two scuba divers near the reef

1. Scuba Diving in Bayahibe: Best Diving in the Country

Scuba diving in Bayahibe is very much so on top of our best scuba diving spots in the Dominican Republic list! Why? Well, we simply love it when exploring the deep seas gets a little mysterious!

Scuba Diving in Bayahibe Highlights: 

  • Explore two mysterious shipwrecks, Saint George and Atlantic Princess
  • Go cave diving 
  • Night scuba diving at El Deseo 
  • Great for advanced divers 

Like the sound of Bayahibe diving?

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Scuba Diving Bayahibe

Scuba Diving in Bayahibe: Saint George Shipwreck

Saint George Shipwreck: Scuba Diving Facts

  • Intentionally sunk in 1999, after over 20 years of use 
  • Submerged 130 feet underwater 
  • Eagle rays and barracudas are common 
  • Advanced diving spot 

When scuba diving in Bayahibe, you’ll be able to find the wreck of the Saint George ship, an old ship that was used to transport grain and barley between Norway and the Americas in the 1960s. After over 20 years of use, Saint George was abandoned in Santo Domingo and intentionally sunk in 1999. 

Now you can find it half a mile offshore from Coral Point diving in Bayahibe, 130 feet underwater! 

Many exotic corals have grown on Saint George wreck over the years and you can spot many different fish species swimming around it. Eagle rays and barracudas are common, and there’s a rumour that a green moray eel has taken up residence in the chimney! Pretty cool, huh? 

Like the sound of Bayahibe diving?

Jump right in!

Scuba Diving near Saint George Shipwreck

Scuba Diving in Bayahibe: Atlantic Princess Shipwreck 

Atlantic Princess Shipwreck: Scuba Diving Facts

  • Submerged 40 feet deep 
  • You can explore the shipwreck on the outside and on the inside 
  • More easily accessible than St. George shipwreck 
  • Still an advanced diving spot 

If you think that the Saint George shipwreck is the extent of what scuba diving in Bayahibe has to offer, we got a surprise for you! 

Introducing: Atlantic Princess shipwreck. 

Yup, you read that right! There’s a whole other shipwreck to explore while scuba diving in Bayahibe. 

In the early 2000s, Atlantic Princess was a small cruise ship for tourists in the area. There was a plan to sink the ship, but Atlantic Princess actually sank on its own on May 6, 2009, and can now be found just 40 feet deep! 

The Atlantic Princess is a more easily accessible scuba diving spot than the Saint George shipwreck, but it doesn’t make it any less stunning. You can swim around the ship to explore the overgrown coral reefs and different schools of fish. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, swim inside the ship for a spooky dive! 

Whatever you do, we promise you that you’re gonna have SO MUCH FUN! 

Like the sound of Bayahibe diving?

Jump right in!

Scuba Diving near Atlantic Princess Shipwreck

Scuba Diving in Bayahibe: Cave Diving 

Cave Diving in Bayahibe: Quick Facts

  • A quick ride out of Bayahibe 
  • A large network of freshwater caves to explore 
  • Some caves are accessible to experienced divers only 

Bayahibe has some of the best cave diving in the Dominican Republic. Just 15 minutes from the main Bayahibe town, there’s a large network of freshwater caves. 

Some of these caves are pretty easy to get to and many people go snorkeling there, but many of the Bayahibe caves are only accessible to experienced divers. You may even find an unexplored cave hidden away somewhere! 

You can expect great visibility in Bayahibe caves. The water is crystal clear and pure and you will pass through many tunnels with limestones, stalagmites, and stalactites. Ready for a cave scuba diving adventure yet? 

Like the sound of Bayahibe diving?

Jump right in!

Cave Diving in Bayahibe

Scuba Diving in Bayahibe: Night Diving at El Deseo 

Night Diving at El Deseo: Quick Facts

  • Explore the ocean by night 
  • Octopus, langoustines, lobsters, and other sea animals come out to hunt at night, so you have a better chance of spotting them 

Exploring the best Bayahibe scuba diving spots gets even more exciting at night! The exotic coral reefs look beautiful and exploring shipwrecks becomes even more interesting. 

Scuba diving at night is completely safe, as long as you have the right tour support and training. 

→ Looking for the best Bayahibe scuba diving tour? Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced diver, we have an exciting tour waiting for you! 

Night Diving at El Deseo

2. Best Scuba Diving Spots in Punta Cana

Scuba Diving in Punta Cana Highlights: 

  • Explore the beautiful turquoise waters and marine life of Bavaro 
  • Discover sunken ships, Astron and Monica 
  • Hear humpback whales underwater (January to March) 
  • Visit an underwater museum 
  • Great for both beginners and advanced divers

You will find a variety of scuba diving spots in Punta Cana. Punta Cana dive sites range from the Punta Cana reef — longest in the country! — to caves and even more shipwrecks! If you love watching fish, you’ll be happy to spot all kinds of fish, from small ones to nurse sharks. 

Scuba diving and snorkeling in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic can be pretty diverse, so we reviewed some of our favorite Punta Cana scuba diving spots below!

Scuba Diving in Punta Cana

Scuba Diving in Bavaro

Scuba Diving in Bavaro: Quick Facts 

  • Gorgeous turquoise waters 
  • Abundant ocean life 
  • Great for a half-day tour 

Bavaro is where most all-inclusive hotels in Punta Cana are and its famous for its best beaches in Punta Cana. Relaxing on a gorgeous white sand beach with a tropical cocktail by your side is a fantastic way to pass your vacation, but sometimes you want to switch things up! 

Our half-day Bavaro diving tours are perfect for certified divers who want to explore stunning underwater coral reef passages and Dominican Republic sea animals, such as turtles and eagle rays. We will do two different dives at two different Punta Cana diving spots, so you get the full scuba experience. 

And, if you’re lucky, you may be able to hear humpback whales underwater. This happens from the end of January until March! 

Want to discover Punta Cana diving?

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Are you a beginner scuba diver but still want to explore Bavaro and Punta Cana underwater? No problem! Simply reach out to us because we have a very special option just for you! 

Scuba Diving in Bavaro

Astron and Monica

Scuba Diving at Astron and Monica: Quick Facts

  • Explore two shipwrecks 
  • Exotic corals and ocean life
  • These ships were not sunk intentionally 
  • Great for the adventurer in you! 

Do you love scuba diving to explore shipwrecks? Astron and Monica are two shipwrecks located right off the coast of Punta Cana and Bavaro and they offer an unforgettable experience to scuba divers in the Dominican Republic! 

Astron is a huge, 394-foot Russian freighter that sank while going to Cuba with tons of corn. It split in two and is now submerged 39 feet deep, attracting scuba divers from all over the world. You can swim around the ship and observe exotic corals and fish. Or you can swim inside the ship for a little more adventure! 

Monica is another sunken ship nearby Astron, but it’s older than Astron. It used to be a wooden boat that transported different tools to sugar plantations and crashed because of a storm. The boat’s condition has deteriorated, but you can find many interesting corals and schools of fish who made Monica their home. 

If you’re lucky, you may even spot a few barracudas! 

Astron and Monica is an unforgettable scuba diving in Punta Cana experience that we highly recommend! 

→ Are you looking for scuba Punta Cana reviews? Check them out here

Scuba Diving at Astron and Monica

Igneri Caribe Taino Underwater Museum 

Scuba Diving at the Igneri Caribe Taino Underwater Museum: Quick Facts

  • Discover 22 sculptures of indegenious Taino (native population of the Dominican Republic) 
  • Created by an award-winning Dominican artist 
  • Cultural experience 
  • Accessible to beginners

Right between Playa Blanca and Playa Serena, there’s a one-of-a-kind underwater museum that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world. 

Dominican award-winning artist Thimo Pimentel created 22 sculptures of indigeneous Taino (native population of the Hispaniola island, where the Dominican Republic is located) and submerged them underwater, around 23 feet deep. There were also corals planted around the statues, turning them into a fish habitat. 

You don’t have to go scuba diving to visit this underwater cultural museum — lots of people experience it by going snorkeling. However, diving to the bottom and swimming around the Taino statues makes for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience! 

Since the statues are only submerged approximately 23 feet deep and the waters are calm in this area, this spot is great for beginners. 

Want to see what Punta Cana diving is all about?

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Scuba Diving at the Igneri Caribe Taino Underwater Museum

3. Scuba Diving in Peñon

Looking for a diving spot a little off the beaten track? Then scuba diving in Peñon is just for you! Located just in front of the national park, Peñon is one of the best reef diving spots in the Dominican Republic. 

Scuba Diving in Peñon Highlights:

  • Just a short 25 minute drive from Bayahibe 
  • Off-the-beaten track 
  • Three diving spots 
  • Lots of wildlife 
  • Great for beginners and advanced divers 

Peñon has three diving spots, but all of these spots are relatively shallow and easy scuba diving sites. Beginners will have plenty of opportunities to practice their scuba diving skills and more experienced divers will love trying to spot nurse sharks, turtles, seahorses, calamari, eels, and many schools of fish. 

Contact us to organize a day trip and explore all three scuba diving spots at Peñon! 

Scuba Diving in Peñon

4. Scuba Diving at Saona Island

Scuba diving at Saona Island: Quick Facts

  • Calmest waters in the Dominican Republic 
  • Stunning diving spots 
  • Diverse experiences, from coral reefs to freshwater caves 
  • Accessible to beginners (some spots) 

If you’ve ever visited Saona Island before on one of our unforgettable Saona Island excursions, you know how stunning this small island just off the coast of La Romana is. Scuba diving at Saona island? Count us in! 

La Romana and Saona Island offer some of the calmest waters in the Dominican Republic for scuba diving because of its nearby reefs. The western side of the area has the calmest waters, and you can expect a stronger current on the east side (which typically means it’s home to bigger fish!). 

There are plenty of diving spots to explore in the area: abundant mangrove forests, freshwater caves, exotic coral reefs…pick something you haven’t done before! 

Scuba diving at Saona Island

5. Catalina Island

Scuba diving at Catalina Island: Quick Facts

  • Less known than the Saona Island, but a great diving spot 
  • Combine scuba diving in Catalina Island with a beach day 
  • Two different diving spots 
  • Catalina Island scuba diving is accessible to beginners (some spots) 

Saona Island is a very popular destination for anyone who visits the Dominican Republic, but its less-known sister Catalina Island also offers a stunning Caribbean — especially for scuba diving and best snorkeling! 

Take a day trip to explore Catalina Island’s clear turquoise waters, rich coral formations, abundant ocean life and then relax on one of the island’s beautiful beaches. Catalina Island has two main dive sites, The Wall and The Aquarium. 

The Wall boasts of incredible visibility and it will be easy for you to spot amazing ocean creatures, such as jellyfish, sea cucumbers, octopus, Christmas tree worm, lionfish, seahorse, and more! 

The Aquarium is about 30 feet deep and also offers a rich underwater ecosystem. Look for squids, slipper lobster, snapper, barracuda, mackerel, tiger moray eel, and other amazing ocean creatures. 

Does Catalina diving sound like a good time to you?

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Scuba diving at Catalina Island

When is the Best Time to Scuba Diving?

You can enjoy scuba diving year-round in the Dominican Republic. It’s hot and humid the entire year, with the air and water temperatures reaching their peak in the summer months. 

From November to May it is what is known as the “high season” and the weather is dryer and milder. It also rains less than during the “low season” months. 

Generally speaking, you can go scuba diving any month of the year. However, if you want to hear humpback whales underwater, you should go scuba diving during the whale watching season, which is from January to March. 

Whenever you decide to explore the underwater world of the Dominican Republic, we have the best scuba diving tours for you! 

Scuba diver girl

Water Temperature

The Dominican Republic is a warm country and you can expect water temperatures of 79-83°F (26-28°C) in the summer months and 75-79°F (24-26°C) in the milder winter months. Either way, it’s very comfortable to scuba dive in the water! 

Like the idea of diving in our beautiful warm water?

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2 scuba divers near the beach

Scuba Diving in the Dominican Republic: Final Thoughts

The Dominican Republic is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world, whether you’re just starting out or have gone scuba diving multiple times in the past. From mysterious shipwrecks to abundant coral reefs with rich marine life, there are many adventures to have! 

But there’s one thing that can really make or break your scuba diving experience in the Dominican Republic: who you do it with. 

There are many Punta Cana dive centers, dive shops, but some of them simply try to get as many people as possible to sign up for their tours and sacrifice the quality of service as a result. 

We’re locals who are passionate about showing you the Dominican Republic beyond the all-inclusive hotels. Our diving tours are intimate experiences that help you discover Dominican abundant marine life in an authentic way. Contact us today!

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